A veterinarian technician, also known as a vet tech, is a professional who assists the veterinarian in caring for the medical needs and maintaining the overall health of animal patients.
Vet techs play a demanding, versatile role in the veterinary office, specializing in nursing, lab work, imaging, and customer service. Their duties include performing a wide range of diagnostic tests, assisting during procedures and examinations, providing nursing care, performing routine procedures, making the animals feel comfortable, and monitoring animal patients.
Before you can begin a rewarding career as a veterinarian technician, you must first receive training from an accredited vet tech school or program that understands the educational needs of an aspiring vet tech. With thorough training from one of the following three schools, you can become an invaluable asset to any veterinary office.
Colorado Mountain College
Colorado Mountain College (CMC) has a veterinary technology degree program that provides a veterinarian education and training on a farm. The vet tech program takes place on the Spring Valley Campus. Classes are held on a 220-acre technology facility with plenty of animals, a science lab, work areas and outdoor pens.
With a farm setting as a campus, students can work with the animals they love, including sheep, horses, cats and dogs. Additionally, the farm has a variety of injured raptors too ill to be returned to the wild. Students will get hands-on training and real work experience at a 2,600-square-foot hospital specifically designed by veterinarians and technicians to duplicate an actual working veterinarian hospital.
Students enrolled in the program are working towards an associate of applied science degree. CMC is the only school in the U.S. that offers a certification program in animal shelter management, which can be completed alone or after the veterinary technology degree program as a specialty. Since 1970, 95% of graduates of CMC’s accredited vet tech program have acquired careers in animal health care or a related field.
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has one of the oldest vet tech programs in the United States. Since 1973, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has fully accredited NCTA’s veterinary technology program. Aspiring vet techs will gain hands-on experience from a rigorous curriculum that exposes them to various species of domestic and exotic animals.
Students in the program have access to a variety of facilities, including multiple X-ray bays, laboratories, surgical operating theater, exotic animal housing, kennel area, necropsy room and cattle working facilities. As a means of broadening their knowledge outside the classroom, students can participate in internships, work behind the scenes at zoos or work at research facilities.
Upon completion of the NCTA program, graduates can pursue various vet tech career opportunities with confidence. NCTA’s veterinary technology program offers students a chance to earn a 30-hour certificate for animal care, associate of applied science degree or a bachelor's degree.
Michigan State University
Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine offers an accredited veterinary technology program with two degree options: certificate of completion and a Bachelor of Science degree. The five-semester certificate program is for people with an associate or bachelor's degree in another field of study, or those who do not want a degree, while the bachelor’s degree program is for individuals with an associate’s degree or those who have at least completed 28 credits of college work.
The curriculum of the four-year bachelors degree program starts with a general knowledge of veterinary medicine then gradually progresses into in-depth studies, including animal nursing care techniques, animal diseases and management, and more. For three consecutive years, all graduates of the vet tech program at Michigan State have passed their board exams.